Super Kick to Cutter: Five of the most overused wrestling moves

OSAKA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 03: Taichi kicks Hirooki Goto in the match during the Power Struggle - Super Jr. Tag League 2018 at Edion Arena Osaka on November 03, 2018 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 03: Taichi kicks Hirooki Goto in the match during the Power Struggle - Super Jr. Tag League 2018 at Edion Arena Osaka on November 03, 2018 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

There are staple maneuvers in professional wrestling, but these five are the most overused of the group. 

1. The Top Rope Dive

Oh no, there is a bunch of wrestlers on the outside, but I am inside the ring. Whatever shall I do? Springing off the ropes and landing on 2-3 wrestlers is an offense of impressive aerial maneuverability. Every middleweight and cruiserweight wrestler feels the need to show the audience their devil-may-care attitude toward safety by dropping ten feet on top of the shoulders and chests of their opponents.

Sometimes this is a tope suicidas, while other times it is a big pancake splash off the top rope. The whole point of the move is to have the little guy smush a bunch of bigger guys using his body as a cannonball. In reality (which wrestling cares very little about) this move would do minimal damage to the opponents and send the babyface to his doom. It’s fun to watch until you can expect it in every mid-card match.

2. Superkicks

A nice knife-edged foot to the shoulder blades of an opponent looks brutal if you catch the right camera angle. This is another expectation that middleweights and cruiserweights are expected to do. The offender, in question, will use a brutal hook kick, which sends the opponent’s head flying backward. Sometimes it is a Super Kick, which used to be an iconic finishing move, but is now just a placeholder between wrestling spots.

The Control Your Narrative wrestling promotion actually banned the super kick. The Young Bucks have taught the indie wrestling world that super kicks should be bought in bulk and spread out through a match. I love a good slobber knocker kick from Mike Bailey and Low-Ki, but I think a lot of wrestlers are jumping on this bandwagon (even ones who don’t know how to kick).

3. The Chop Contest

You will think of me as a blasphemer for criticizing a spot that was made famous by Ric Flair. The chop contest happens at the beginning of the match when two opponents test each other’s fortitude by slapping the chest. This is as real as wrestling gets with both members having purple chests by the end of the contest.

The story behind this spot is that both wrestlers are proving to the audience that pain is not going to slow them down or hold them back. It would be ridiculous in every sense of the word if any boxer or UFC fighter let their opponent have a crack at them at the beginning of the round, but in wrestling, it is part of every rivalry and main event. I can’t be too harsh on this move as it is as iconic as the National Anthem before a baseball game, but I have to wonder if there is a different way to show that both wrestlers are tough.

4. The Canadian Destroyer

Petey Williams is the wrestler who blew the world away by introducing a move that defies gravity and physics. Somehow, a wrestler can get into a powerbomb position, and flip forwards, while somehow scooping up his opponent into a piledriver. Even trying to explain it with words is tough.

The Canadian Destroyer has become the go-to move for anyone X-Division/Cruiserweight/Hardcore contender who wants to get an instant reaction from the audience. It is a staple move in almost every Ultimate X match on Impact. Ladder matches and no DQ matches pour this move out like water. It is an impressive move and probably takes a ton of practice (especially for the person who has to sell it), but it has become commonplace.

5. The Cutter

If only DDP had copyrighted this move he would be a billionaire. In the 80s wrestlers were doing scoop slams, vertical suplexes, and headlocks. In the 90s wrestlers were doing piledrivers and German suplexes. This modern age is all about the cutter. Every wrestler who is considered slim and agile is legally required to perform several different cutters. Randy Orton made this move popular because of how spontaneous his RKO was and all the other indie promotions said “we need to do that move at least three times a match.”